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GSEs Help 130K Borrowers Avoid Foreclosure in Q1, Delinquencies Fall

So far, efforts from the GSEs have led to nearly 2.8 million foreclosure prevention actions since the start of the September 2008 conservatorship, the FHFA reported Monday. The agency also found the serious delinquency rate for GSE borrowers decreased to 3 percent compared to 8 percent for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. However, more than half of the GSEs' seriously delinquent borrowers were past due by at least a year in the first quarter.

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First-Time and Continuing Jobless Claims Drop

First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped 9,000 to 346,000 for week ended June 22, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected 345,000 claims. Claims filings for the week ended June 15 were revised up to 355,000 from the originally reported 354,000.

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Investor Activity Falls Sharply in May

As prices rise, investors are having a harder time justifying housing market purchases, according to a recent Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking survey. In May, the share of home purchases from investors fell to the lowest level in more than three years, dropping to 20.2 percent from 22 percent in April, according to the survey.

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LPS Reports Strong National, State-Level Home Price Gains in April

National home prices, along with the 20 largest states, posted positive monthly and yearly gains in April, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS). LPS' Home Price Index (HPI) found prices in April stood at $217,000, up by 1.5 percent from March and up 8.1 percent from a year ago. The national HPI is still 18.2 percent below its June 2006 peak, when the index averaged $265,000. For the second straight month, all 20 of the largest states tracked by LPS saw positive month-over-month growth.

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HOPE NOW Reports 70K Mods in April, 59K Foreclosure Sales

Nearly 70,000 homeowners received permanent loan modifications in April, while foreclosure sales stood at 59,000 for the month, according to data from HOPE NOW, an alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers, and nonprofit counselors. Since 2007, 6.39 million struggling homeowners have received permanent modifications, HOPE NOW reported. Completed short sales reached 27,000 in April--a slight adjustment from 28,000 in March.

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RealtyTrac: 1 in 5 Foreclosures Vacated by Owner

As the foreclosure process drags on in certain states, sometimes the homeowner will beat the lender and leave before a foreclosure sale date is set. According to RealtyTrac's estimate, 167,680 properties in foreclosure have been abandoned by their owner. The total represents 20 percent of all foreclosures. Adding to this total are the more than 540,000 banked-owned properties still waiting to be sold to a third party.

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Existing-Home Sales, Prices Jump in May

Existing-home sales rose a solid 4.2 percent in May to an annual sales rate of 5.18 million, the highest level since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists had expected existing-home sales to hit 5.0 million. The median price of an existing home jumped $16,200 (8.4 percent) for the month and was up $27,700 (15.4 percent) from May 2012. The inventory of homes for sale rose to 2.22 million from 2.15 million in April.

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Monthly Increase in REOs Drives Up Foreclosure Activity in May

After posting a 75-month low in April, foreclosure filings increased 2 percent in May, according to RealtyTrac. The rise was primarily driven by an 11 percent increase in REOs over the month. However, REOs demonstrated a 29 percent decline year-over-year in May, while foreclosure filings fell 28 percent over the same time period. ""Foreclosure activity continued to bounce back in some markets where it may have appeared the foreclosure problem had been knocked out by an aggressive combination of foreclosure prevention efforts over the past two years,"" said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.

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RealtyTrac: Top Markets to Find Fixer-Uppers

Fixer-upper homes might be the solution for potential buyers who are having trouble with snagging a good deal in this low-inventory environment. According RealtyTrac's estimate, there are more than 51,000 of these discounted properties. To help buyers narrow down their search, RealtyTrac ranked the top 15 cities for fixer-uppers. Detroit, Michigan reigned as the best city to buy a fixer-upper. In the Motor City, RealtyTrac found there are 3,773 banked-owned properties built before 1960 that cost under $100,000.

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